PROBABLE CAUSE DEFINED

PROBABLE CAUSE

COM. V. JONES, 217 S.W.3D 190 (KY., 2006) -

“[P]robable cause is a fluid concept—turning on the assessment of probabilities in particular factual contexts—not readily, or even usefully, reduced to a neat set of legal rules.”17 Thus, in order to determine if probable cause has been shown, the “principal components” a reviewing court must examine are “the events which occurred leading up to the stop or search, and then the decision whether these historical facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion or to probable cause.”18 Thus, as evidenced by the use of the adverb “immediately” to modify the adjective “apparent,” probable cause must be met at the time the officer touches the item in question and post-touching conduct cannot be used retroactively to find probable cause.19 Although an appellate court must defer to the findings of fact made by a trial court, “as a general matter determinations of reasonable suspicion and probable cause should be reviewed [de novo] on appeal.”20 Since the trial court made no real findings of fact in this case, our review is completely de novo.” “…this case is remanded to the trial court with instructions to suppress the evidence obtained during Teagle’s warrantless search of Jones..”

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